I have a presentation about "Soldier's Home" and I need help to know what to focus on.

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When we think about the theme of a work of literature we are talking about its main message or purpose, or what the author is trying to communicate by writing it. Considering the theme therefore of "Soldier's Home" seems to suggest that Hemingway, by focusing on the terrible inertia and nihilism experienced by a soldier returning from fighting in the war, is writing about the way that war can affect a young soldier. War is clearly shown to disillusion young people and to alienate them from the very values they fought to protect. Consider the character of Krebs, the kind of half-existence that he leads and the extent of his hopes and dreams:

He did not want any consequences. He did not want any consequences ever again. He wanted to live along without consequences.

Note the repetition in this short quote. He is obviously emotionally exhausted and desperate to avoid any form of commitment, having learned about the horrors of war, wanting only to live without incident, intimacy or responsibility. Thus, to my mind, this story highlights the kind impact that the horrors of war have on young, impressionable men, who find it impossible to slot back into life when they return.